A new, New Year

This is typically a generally festive time as the holiday season comes to a close, the current year is extended salutary wishes, and the New Year anxiously anticipated. In just a few short days, survivors of what has proven to be a very challenging twelve month cycle will ring in another opportunity to either start the journey afresh or hang on to the dead weight of 2020. In either case, life will continue forging ahead whether you choose to engage or not.

As is the custom, most everyone will formulate plans to begin execution of their respective New Year’s resolutions. This will, invariably, consist of a commitment to apply efforts toward doing everything from losing weight and being more health conscious to kicking bad habits, developing a better spiritual life, and being an overall better individual. Of course, there will be some who’ve convinced themselves there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the person they are and resolved personal growth isn’t necessary. That has to be the subject of another column and will require much more than the space Jamie allocates for this opinion.

Needless to say, 2020 has been a bit challenging with the on-set of the devastating coronavirus or COVID-19 which, as of Noon Sunday, December 27th, had claimed the lives of 340,146 (Three Hundred-Forty Thousand, One Hundred and Forty-Six) Americans. There were a number of still misunderstood or unresolved deaths in the likes of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and others throughout the year. The unfortunate realization of mortal limitation came upon the great champion for women’s rights, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, as well as countless other notable individuals amongst the sports and entertainment sectors.

Naturally, the cycle of life persists in the endeavor of moving forward with or without the consent of anyone. Regardless of what we might desire, it has been established that time waits for no one. So as circumstance would dictate, the quest to hinder the direction of nature proves to be a futile undertaking at best. In truth, one has the option of moving forward in sync with nature’s appointed course or simply being swallowed up by circumstance.

For an individual to conduct a candid examination of “self” and resolve it’s necessary to embark upon a trek of personal improvement is certainly a good thing. Unfortunately, the greater percentage of people who vow to live out the New Year in better fashion will sooner or later fall victim to the habits of old. Shadows of “yesterday” eventually creep up two or three months into the year and canvas any effort for change, leaving a myriad of broken resolutions in their wake.

Ringing in the New Year traditionally entails embracing a demonstrated need for change which, for most, proves more challenging than imagined. This fact could be the reason so many seemed destined to fail in the attempt because change can be a tremendous mountain to climb. Sociologists, however, suggest that maintaining a system or routine for thirty days proves as confirmation that the behavioral modification would have been solidified. Notwithstanding the fact, there are a lot of people who manage to get beyond the first month but are unable to continue on the path of newly personalized habits.

It would seem that a choice to undertake the challenge of changing for the better would be both logical and relatively simple but many people have a difficult time “letting go.” Reason suggests anything that has reached the status of being problematic couldn’t be as easy to turn loose as one would like to imagine. In short, the very identification of an issue as a problem interprets that it’s not a habit that can be easily kicked.

Saying goodbye to the past and looking forward to a happy “New Year,” by interpretation, requires leaving last year’s baggage, habits and hang-ups with the old calendar. Realize that it’s impossible to move forward when you’re so focused on what’s behind you. Living life in forward motion mandates the ability to envision a brighter future regardless of how bleak the moment appears. As such, it’ll soon be time to shed the old one and welcome a new, New Year.

To pose a question or share your opinion, you can reach B. G. Howard at bw3bh@yahoo.com or P. O. Box 8103, Jacksonville, FL 32239.